Over the past few years, law enforcement authorities in Europe have become increasingly concerned over active shooters especially school shootings. The horrendous nature of these crimes, with multiple casualties and young victims are traumatic for the whole community. It is increasingly important to carryout preventive work and have the right response plans in place.
In response to this and based on recent experiences, Finland hosted “Crisis Management – Emergency Planning and Response”, the first CEPOL seminar on this topic, in Helsinki on 6 – 10 June 2010.
The objectives of the seminar were to discuss ways of preventing school shootings from happening and the most effective ways to respond if such events were to take place.
Keynote speakers Sami Hätönen, Finnish Police College, and Tuomas Turunen, International Criminal Court, presented a case study about the Jokela school shooting that took place in 2007. Olaf Howest, Nordrhein-Westfalen Police (Germany), illustrated the Emsdetten school shooting.
During the seminar, presentations were given by Jussi Hyysalo, Finnish Bureau of Investigation, on the topic of Internet Intelligence and by Markus Heiskanen, Helsinki Police Department, about profiling and threat assessment.
Finnish speakers Marko Savolainen, National Police Board, and Nina Pelkonen, Espoo Police Department, both gave keynote addresses. The first lectured about tactical procedures against school shootings and the approach towards the community after school shootings; the latter lectured about building-up school safety. Yiannos Chrysostomou, Cyprus, lectured about negotiating and presented a study of the Beslan school hostage crisis.
After the seminar, Course Manager Jari Kaikko said: “Everyone involved was motivated and took active part in the learning process”. Praising the professionalism of all the speakers and the involvement of the participants, he also added that possible future CEPOL seminars on this topic could benefit from a more scientific approach based on finalised findings from closed cases.
Thirty participants from 19 Member States and one from Switzerland attended the seminar organised by the Finnish Police College, with valuable assistance from Cyprus and the United Kingdom.